The thinking eye: visual re-cognition in design emergence

Oxman, R 2002, 'The thinking eye: visual re-cognition in design emergence' , Design Studies, 23 (2) , pp. 135-164.

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Emergence has been widely recognized as a significant phenomenon of visual reasoning in design. Despite its centrality as a cognitive phenomenon, research in emergence currently lacks a comprehensive theoretical foundation. A broadened view of design emergence that adds to the perceptual phenomenon of shape emergence in reflecting the way the design domains are conceptualized is proposed. An expanded theory of emergence in which visual cognition plays an important role is presented. Beginning with an attempt to broaden the perceptual perspectives of shape emergence, the process of cognitive emergence is defined. The duality of related perceptual and cognitive components provides a working basis for conceptualizing visual emergence in design. Antithetical to the idea of accidental emergence, it is proposed that emergence is guided and anticipated. We claim that it is the re-cognition of visual shapes and images in design that enables emergence. This kind of guidance function in emergence is termed 'anticipated emergence'. We demonstrate how high-level domain knowledge of visual forms can be accommodated as cognitive content, and how this can contribute to establishing a cognitive basis for emergence. An empirical experiment from the domain of architecture is presented.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA075 Electronic computers. Computer science > QA076 Computer software
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Journal or Publication Title: Design Studies
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0142-694X
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2007 14:24
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:02

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